Earnings: AMD, Gannett, Genentech, Harley Davidson, Circuit City

Earnings: Advanced Micro Devices Inc. | Gannett | Genentech | Harley Davidson | Circuit City

Advanced Micro Devices Inc. Beats Expectations

SAN FRANCISCO (AP) - Advanced Micro Devices Inc. (AMD) on Wednesday said it swung to a first-quarter profit as Intel Corp.'s (INTC) biggest rival for microprocessors benefited from market share gains and the spinoff of its unprofitable flash memory subsidiary.

The Santa Clara-based company posted net income of $185 million, or 38 cents a share, for the quarter ended March 26 compared with a net loss of $17.4 million, or 4 cents a share, in the same period last year.

Sales grew 8.6 percent to $1.33 billion from $1.23 billion.

AMD's profit easily exceeded analysts consensus estimates of 30 cents a share.

The company said revenue for the current quarter would be "flat to slightly down" from the first quarter. That was slightly lower than the $1.35 billion analysts were expecting in a Thomson Financial survey.

The results were released after financial ended regular trading. Earlier, shares of AMD rose $1.07, or 3 percent, to close at $35.42 on the New York Stock Exchange. In after-hours trading, AMD shares fell $1, or 2.8 percent, to $34.42.

Gannett Earnings Down on Ad Sales Drop

NEW YORK (Reuters) - Gannett Co. Inc. (GCI) Wednesday said first-quarter earnings fell, hurt by a difficult advertising environment at its flagship newspaper, USA Today.

Gannett, which also publishes about 90 other daily newspapers and runs 21 television stations, said earnings fell to $235.3 million, or 99 cents a share, from $265.7 million. or $1.05 a share, in the period a year ago.

Analysts on average had been forecasting earnings of 99 cents a share, according to Reuters Estimates, down from $1.02 a share last month, before a warning by Gannett. The company began reporting stock compensation expense in the first quarter, which totaled 3 cents a share.

Revenue rose 6.5 percent, to $1.88 billion, while analysts had expected it to post revenue of $1.86 billion.

Reported operating expenses increased 10.8 percent in the quarter, hurt by higher newsprint costs.

At USA Today, advertising revenues declined 4.2 percent in the first quarter. Paid advertising pages totaled 1,020 compared with 1,101 in the same quarter of 2005.

Gannett is among the first of the big newspaper companies to report earnings, after a quarter in which the industry continued to be hurt by advertising money moving to the Internet, declining circulation, and higher costs for energy and newsprint.

Genentech Boosted By Strong Sales

(AP) — Genentech Inc. (DNA) saw its quarterly net income rise 48 percent on stout sales of its signature cancer drugs, Avastin and Herceptin.

The South San Francisco, Calif.-based company earned $421 million, or 39 cents a share in the first quarter, compared with the previous year's first-quarter earnings of $284.2 million, or 27 cents a share.

Excluding special expenses, Genentech said it would have earned $491 million, or 46 cents a share. On that basis, the results exceeded the per-share estimate among Wall Street analysts by 5 cents, according to research firm Thomson Financial.

Revenue was $1.99 billion in the quarter, an increase of 36 percent from the $1.46 billion a year earlier.

"It was a nice quarter," said Michael King, an analyst with Rodman and Renshaw.

Genentech also said it expects sales to be stronger than initially forecast in 2006 and earnings per share to grow by 45 percent to 55 percent in 2006 from last year.

Company shares slipped 1.3 percent in late-session trade Tuesday, after the report was released.

Genentech's share price rose 70 percent in 2005, boosted by strong sales and a string of positive scientific results of the cancer-fighting drug, Avastin. But Genentech shares have slumped 12 percent this year as analysts warn that the stock has become too expensive.

The drug was approved in February 2004 to treat colon cancer patients and accounted for $398 million in U.S. sales in the first quarter, a 96 percent increase over the previous year's quarter of $203 million.

The company also said Tuesday it had applied to the Food and Drug Administration to approve Avastin to treat some lung cancer patients.

Avastin is designed to choke the blood supply that feeds tumors and is the first drug of its kind to be approved by the FDA. When used with chemotherapy, it extends the life of the sickest patients by an average of about five months.

Analysts expect the drug, which costs each patient about $4,400 per month, to surpass $2 billion in annual sales in the next few years. The company also is investigating Avastin's possibilities to treat other forms of cancer, including breast, prostate and kidney.

The company's cancer-fighting Rituxan drug sales in the United States rose 8 percent to $477 million and sales of the breast cancer drug Herceptin surged 123 percent to $290 million the first quarter. The FDA last month approved Rituxan for rheumatoid arthritis.

Lung cancer fighting Tarceva U.S. sales rose 94 percent to $93 million and asthma drug Xolair sales were $65 million, an increase of 46 percent.

Harley Davidson Earnings Up

CHICAGO (Reuters) - U.S. motorcycle maker Harley-Davidson Inc. (HDI) said on Wednesday that its earnings rose modestly in the latest quarter, helped by strong overseas sales of its bikes.

The Milwaukee, Wisconsin-based company reported a first-quarter net profit of $234.6 million, or 86 cents a share, an increase of about 3.3 percent over the $227.2 million, or 77 cents a share, it reported a year earlier.

Sales rose 4 percent to $1.29 billion.

The results were in line with expectations. Analysts on average expected the Milwaukee-based company to report a profit of 86 cents a share on sales of $1.29 billion, according to Reuters Estimates.

Harley-Davidson, which also makes money by selling parts and services and by financing motorcycle purchases, said sales of its iconic bikes rose 6.9 percent worldwide during the quarter.

Sales in the United States rose 5.8 percent. By way of comparison, Harley-Davidson said that the heavyweight motorcycle market grew 6.8 percent during the quarter in the United States.

Once again, international sales growth outpaced gains in the United States. Harley-Davidson said overseas sales grew 11.6 percent during the quarter, pulled higher by a 16.3 percent jump in Japanese sales and a 6.6 percent rise in European sales.

Harley-Davidson said it shipped 79,506 bikes during the quarter, an increase of 3.6 percent over the same quarter in 2005.

Looking forward, it said it planned to ship 78,000 motorcycles in the coming quarter and between 348,000 and 352,000 for the full year.

Investors and analysts have been watching Harley-Davidson closely in recent months, concerned it might announce new production or shipments cuts.

Harley-Davidson has acknowledged that it continues to face inventory issues in the United States, which accounts for 80 percent of its sales, because of the highly seasonal purchase patterns among consumers in many parts of the country.

Circuit City Sees Profit Rise On Sales

CHICAGO (Reuters) - Circuit City Stores Inc. (CC) on Wednesday said quarterly profit rose sharply, driven by strong sales of flat-panel televisions and fewer price cuts.

The consumer electronics retailer reported earnings of $141.1 million, or 80 cents a share, in the fiscal fourth quarter that ended February 28, compared with $85.4 million, or 45 cents per share a year earlier.

Earnings from continuing operations were 84 cents a share. Analysts, on average, had been expecting 77 cents per share, according to Reuters Estimates.